29 November 2014

The Christmas Boutique


Now we are only a few weeks away from Christmas, it's time to start thinking about sprucing up the house with the many decorations that are needed. Decorating the tree, hanging garlands and putting out the nativity scene. 

The Christmas Boutique are fantastic as they have everything in one place. From fancy Advent calendars and nativity sets, right up to tree decorations and ornaments. The choice is endless and there are items for every budget. 

Every year, the boys get a chocolate advent calendar, but this year, we have an extra special one. The cute Advent Calendar washing line is a fabulous accessory to hang across the livingroom wall. It is numbered from 1 to 24 and has Santa's at each end. Each pouch will easily fit a small bar of chocolate or sweet inside for an extra special treat. 

The gorgeous Christmas Nativity nine piece set in red & cream is £34.99 and is a fabulous edition to the decorations in our house. A fabulous, quality item that u can imagine, will last the years and is truly a traditional decoration I have up. 

The set of two standing Christmas Elf ornaments are a snatch at £14.99 and make the room all cheery with their big smiles. One holds a present and the other a mini Christmas tree and are such cuties. 


Since we'll need somewhere to store all the little pressies in, and a fab place for the boys to route through on Christmas morning, we received a fab large Father Christmas Hessian sack which is massive and will easily fit loads of presents in (and no doubt one of the kids once the day arrives and they get playing). It is a large large jute sack with string fastening and features printed Father Christmas image on the front. 

Now down to tree decorations. We were sent 2 packs of baubles. A set of 4 heart shaped glass Christmas baubles in red with white glitter spots that are so cute and will match in with our red decorations whilst giving a bit of class to the tree too. 

And then we got a set of 2 pine cone glass baubles which are really stunning and stand out from the crowd in the decorations stake. They are unique ina white colour but have metallic edges that shine from the Christmas lights and bounce light around the room. Truly stunning. 

As you can see, the Christmas Boutique have a whole range of items that are stunning and great for the festive period. For more information and to purchase any of these items, visit the Christmas Boutique website


28 November 2014

Christmas Gifts for Him at Asda

With Christmas near approaching, it's time to start thinking about how you will treat the man of the house. I find that men are really hard to shop for as they are so fussy. Some like football and sports and others like motorbikes and gadgets. It makes Christmas shopping so difficult, but, Asda have got a huge range of items in store perfect for the ma in your life. 

Gift Sets are a great way to ensure you have the perfect gift, I mean, every man showers and so these presents come in handy. Something like these Baylis & Harding gift sets which comes with body washes and shaving balms in a gorgeous scent, to keep the man in your life smelling gorgeous. 

They also do a lot of other ranges too for men and even have some great 2 for £8 deals on too which you can mix and match with women's sets. Perfect for teachers presents. 


If you're looking for something a little more expensive, the Samsung Tab Lite is perfect at £89. Giving them a way to surf the net or play games online withouth having to take over the computer. 

There are then quirky gifts, such as the beer hat which is only £5 and is great for any man with a sense of humour and a love of watching football without having to get up for a new beer as there are 2 already stored in his hat. 

There is so much choice in Asda this year. All these gifts above and much more so make sure you get in store or onto the Asda website now before you miss out. 

Reasons to Volunteer at a Care Home

If you’re looking for something to do to contribute to your community, have you thought about volunteering at a care home? Volunteering can be a rewarding practice where you can learn and enjoy a life-changing experience whilst making a big difference to others lives in your community. Here are some reasons why volunteering at a care home is a great idea for you. You can volunteer at care homes for the elderly with Extra Care and many other care homes or charities which you can find through a simple google search.


Improve Your CV 
Volunteering looks great on your CV and could be the deciding factor for a job over another potential applicant. You can list the experience you’ve gained and even use the care home you are working for as a reference in a job. Volunteering at a care home enables you to develop your social skills, build communication skills and boasts compassion which is necessary to succeed in many jobs. Employers look for employees who are proactive and make the most of opportunities. It also looks great for those applying to universities, it gives the impression that you are a well-rounded individual who has an interest in the world around them and helping others. If you’re thinking of changing careers, this experience might help you get the job and you can discover if working with elderly is right for you before applying for the role.

Increase Your Social Skills 
If you are the shy sort, volunteering may help you come out of your shell. It gives you the opportunity to practice and develop your social skills as you are seeing the same people on a regular basis who all have the same interests in helping others and wanting to give back to their community. Once you’ve grown confidence with these individuals, it’s more likely that you will use those skills with others. Volunteering increases self-confidence and by doing good for others, you achieve a sense of accomplishment and pride.


Learn From Others Experiences 
As you are communicating with the elderly on a regular basis you’ll begin to learn about their interests and pasts experiences. You’d be surprised by how much you can learn from them. Believe it or not they were once your age so may have been through many things that you might be going through now. For the elderly, being able to share knowledge with a young individual may help them regain independence which they felt they lost when they moved to a care home. It can be difficult making the transition from relying on yourself to relying on others, so this will help them regain some pride they feel that they had lost. You can get to understand the elderly’s perspective of different aspects on life and broaden your perspectives of different topics.

Christmas Giveaway 14 - Christmas DVD Bundle

The best thing about the festive season and this cold weather, is getting to wrap yourself up, layze on the sofa and watch hours upon hours of Christmas films and so this week I have secured another fab Christmas giveaway for you. 

You can win a Christmas DVD bundle of films to get you into the festive spirit. The prize is fulfilled by Cash Generator, the high street retailer of new and used DVDs.

The prize bundle will consist of:
  • Nightmare before Christmas
  • Home Alone
  • Miracle on 34th Street
  • Elf

How fab is that? Getting to snuggle up and watch any of these great films with your family. My personal favourite is Miracle on 34th Street which I watch every year without fail although my kids abroloutely love Elf, as you can imagine. But, of course, Home Alone is one of those films that can be watched over and over, and the Nightmare before Christmas is a quirky take on a Christmas film. 


To be in with a chance to win this fab prize in our Christmas giveaways, just fill in the Rafflecopter form below. 

Please remember to check the T&C's at the bottom of the Rafflecopter application and our full terms here. This giveaway is open to the UK only and any entries left that do not follow the required entries will be disqualified. After the one mandatory entry, others will open up to give you extra entries. You do not have to enter by all methods but these will give you extra entries into the competition if you do. 

And please, if you are commenting on the blog as 'anonymous' can you please write your name in the comment otherwise I cannot count your entry.

Ends midnight 8th December

25 November 2014

A Family Friendly Tablet For Children

For a while, Thomas has had a tablet which he plays games on. I was apprehensive about getting him one at first as I hated the thought of him getting online and viewing inappropriate things and it did take me a while to set it all up so that he could not access any internet which was annoying to do. 

The problem we have now though, is that Charlie gets jealous of not having a tablet and really wants one. I have been saying no for a while but have come to the realisation that it would be great for him to have a tool like this to learn on. The amount of games and app's you can download for children, not only fun games but educational ones too, outweighs the negatives of children having tablets and so I have caved and am contemplating getting him one. 

This time though, I am wanting one that is aimed towards children, a Kurio and am using this post to apply to become one of their #KurioFamilyBloggers and test one out for a younger child. 


The best thing about the Kurio tablets, is that they are geared directly towards children, and are the safest tablets for children to have. Although, it does have the ability to go online, parents can restrict access and Kurio have a internet filtering system which blocks certain websites and it is forever checking new sites and determining whether they are suitable for children before allowing the tablet user to access it. 

The Kurio tablets come pre-loaded with over 50 apps and games and also comes with Google Play so that you can download more apps for your child to play on. 

For me, I love the idea that Kurio have designed a tablet aimed towards children and have thought of everything when it comes to internet usage, parental controls and games and app downloads. 

If I was lucky enough to be picked as one of the #KurioFamilyBloggers then I would love for Charlie to be able to either have the Kurio Tab or the Kurio Tab XL (I personally think that the bigger sized one would be of better use with his learning and joining in with things that are happening on screen)

How to Choose your Perfect Cooker

A cooker is likely to be the most important piece of equipment in your kitchen, maybe your whole house. With the right oven you can develop a real love of cooking, cut your monthly bills, change your dietary habits and add style to your kitchen. Whether you are looking for a range, gas or electric cooker, there are different aspects of ovens that you will need to consider. Here are a few tips and hints on how to choose the cooker that is right for you and your kitchen.


Freestanding or built-in
Built-in or integrated cookers are perfect for people who are looking for a seamless kitchen design and feel freestanding model are not right for their set up. It is possible for integrated ovens to be installed at eye level to make the Sunday Roast that little less strenuous (it also makes it easier to check on a frozen pizza!). If space (or money) is not an issue then you may want to consider a range cooker. Available in gas and electric, ranger cookers a large unit with more cooking compartments making them great for larger families or very serious chefs.

Space
Both gas and electric heaters tend to come in set widths of 50cm, 55cm and 60cm, although there can be slight differences from brand to brand. It is also important to leave a gap of around 5cm around the unit to allow for ventilation.

Stove top cooking
Hobs are commonly used more frequently than the actual oven therefore a lot of thought has to go into this aspect of your oven. Integrated ovens will not have hobs on top so you will have to choose one separately. If you are looking for an electric hob you will notice that there is plenty of variation. The most basic type of electric hob is the solid plate hob which is usually the cheapest. Ceramic hobs have a smooth easy-to-clean glass surface and look great in a modern style kitchen but do take a while to warm up. Induction hobs are the most efficient of the electric (and gas) hobs as they only use the necessary energy to heat the pan.

Oven cooking
The choice of single ovens, twin cavity or double oven cookers and conventional or fan-assisted will depend on how much money you want to spend and how important things like efficiency and the complexity of your regular cooking. Double ovens allow you use both spaces at different temperatures whereas single oven only allow you to adjust the settings on the one space.

Budget
There is quite a lot of disparity in the cost of freestanding ovens. Take a look at the range on Electric Shop to see what you can get for your money. If you are willing to splash out or want to cook like a Michelin star chef consider a range cooker.

24 November 2014

Pavers Nubuck Leather Calf Boots with Double Buckle


I love boots. In fact, if you ask my husband, he would say I am obsessed with them. Having so many pairs, most of which I don't even wear any more, I just hate to throw them out. I'm like Gollom, in that sense, I can't get rid of my precious belongings.  

So obviously, when Pavers got in touch asking if I wanted to review a pair of their boots, I said yes. Pavers was founded by Cathy Paver as she could never find stylish shoes that would actually fit her and so, in 1971, York based Pavers Shoes was formed. 

Pavers Shoes has gone on from then to become one of the UK’s leading comfort footwear specialists having over 115 shops throughout the UK and Eire, catalogues and a website, to make finding the perfect pair of shoes a doddle.

Along with their own brands, they also stock Skechers, Marco Tozzi, Rieker, Piccadilly and many more with comfort always being important and at the forefront of what they do. Pavers pride themselves on providing first-rate customer service, offering free delivery over £50 for buying online and you can even collect in store too to make the ordering process even easier.


After having a look at the Pavers website, I fancied something a little different. I usually go for wedged boots or fluffy ones, but these gorgeous Nubuck Leather Calf Boots stood out to me and were calling my name.

The Nubuck Leather Calf Boots are somewhat of a biker style boot with a small, 3cm heel on them. They have a double strap and buckle design and although are leather, they have quite a suede feeling to the top part and look really stylish to wear. The soft textile lining will be sure to keep my calf's cosy warm this winter also. 

I was apprehensive at picking these at first as the base and foot part looks quite hard and I was worried that they may be uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time. This couldn't be further from the truth though as the boots are incredibly comfortable, even on long walks with the boys I have found that they are soft and warm to wear.


The boots are wide around the calf and so aren't tight at all, the cosy, fluffy insides keeping me legs warm also whilst that leather exterior makes them waterproof and protective.
The small heel gives extra comfort which isn't too high at all and the super thick sole will be perfect for walking, and trying to keep upright, if the snow hits this winter.

Personally, I love that they are wearable with most things after trying them on and being comfortable wearing them with my jeans, leggings (I am pregnant and so these are a staple item in my wardrobe) and even dresses.
Yes, that's right, if I decide to go for the biker chick look, I can go a bit Gothic with biker boots, a gorgeous plum coloured maternity dress and black tights, truly stunning!

Overall, at £64.99, I find the Nubuck Leather Calf Boots comfortable to wear, stunning and stylish to look at and all at an amazing price.

I absolutely love these Nubuck leather calf boots and am so glad I picked them but you can also check out the whole range of women's ankle boots that Pavers sell too.



23 November 2014

30 Week Pregnancy Update

I cannot believe that I am now three-quarters of the way through this pregnancy now. It only seems like yesterday that I found out that we were expecting again. Yes, there may have been many (many) hurdles in between, but now I can see the finish line and know that our baby will be here soon. 

My sickness is easing now but heartburn is still prominent and getting worse all the time. I feel as though I am just downing Gaviscon at the moment to stop it from burning. And of course, the pulled muscle in my back is still playing up, causing pain but I'm trying not to think about that too much. 

I have felt that baby hiccup loads recently. I think it may be down to the fact that I am drinking fizzy drinks and maybe it's passing on to him but I'm not quite sure whether that can happen, and to be honest, I still can only drink fizzy drinks so it will probably be like this till the end now. 

It's getting to the stage now where sleep is very disturbed. If I'm not waking to pee every hour, then the baby wakes me up having a play or heartburn flares up, so as you can imagine, it is quite hard at the moment to focus and get things done because I am constantly tired. 

As for bump, should be weighing in at around 3 pounds and be nearly 16 inches long. He may be now piling in the fat, ready for entrance into the big wide world, but he is also losing the fine lanugo hair that covers his body. 

I don't see the midwife now until 34 weeks and so shouldn't really have much to update on between now and then. If I do though, you lot will be the first to know.

22 November 2014

Christmas Giveaway Day 13 - Ultimate English

Ultimate English are a traditional business producing confectionery from their home town of Harrogate in North Yorkshire, not too far from us, in fact. They have spent 150 years crafting and refining their confectionery to make it the best it can be, all done by hand to make sure that it is perfect for us all to enjoy. 

Fudge is their main passion, the Salt Water Chocolate Truffle Fudge being my favourite as I love the salty after taste (we also used this is a gorgeous flapjack recipe and it was absolutely stunning) but they also do honeycomb, cashew crunch and Lemon Coconut Ice too as well as many other favours of fudge. 

After I published my review of the yummy Ultimate English confectionery (you can read my review here) I had many people ask me where they could buy it from and they were left disappointed that, at the moment, the range is only available in local farm shops and deli's across Yorkshire. 

Well now you are in luck as Ultimate English have given me a fab hamper of their confectionery to give away to one of my lucky readers. 


To be in with a chance to win this fab prize in our Christmas giveaways, just fill in the Rafflecopter form below. 

Please remember to check the T&C's at the bottom of the Rafflecopter application and our full terms here. This giveaway is open to the UK only and any entries left that do not follow the required entries will be disqualified. After the one mandatory entry, others will open up to give you extra entries. You do not have to enter by all methods but these will give you extra entries into the competition if you do. 

And please, if you are commenting on the blog as 'anonymous' can you please write your name in the comment otherwise I cannot count your entry.

Ends midnight 7th December

21 November 2014

Christmas Giveaway Day 12 - Home 33 Accessories

Today's giveaway is a little different as we have something for the man in your life. Home 33 Accessories have donated this great Essential Wine Bottle Shaped Accessory Gift Set which I'm sure the man in your life would love. 

Many times my husband has been searching for the bottle opener and always seems to misplace it. With this fab set, there would be no more searching as it comes inside the wine bottle case, ready to be used when you fancy a cheeky drink at the end of a busy day. 

Encased within the bottle shaped case is a bottle collar, pourer & a 3in1 corkscrew, bottle opener & foil cutter utility set, giving you all the right equipment & reassurance that it is all in one place. the perfect little stocking filler for Christmas.


To be in with a chance to win this fab prize in our Christmas giveaways, just fill in the Rafflecopter form below. 

Please remember to check the T&C's at the bottom of the Rafflecopter application and our full terms here. This giveaway is open to the UK only and any entries left that do not follow the required entries will be disqualified. After the one mandatory entry, others will open up to give you extra entries. You do not have to enter by all methods but these will give you extra entries into the competition if you do. 

And please, if you are commenting on the blog as 'anonymous' can you please write your name in the comment otherwise I cannot count your entry.

Ends midnight 6th December

20 November 2014

Christmas Wish List For The Boys

By the amount of things the boys keep on telling me that they want, I think that it's safe to say that this year may be an expensive Christmas. Put that with the fact that we are also having to buy baby things for our impending arrival, it means that it has all been a stretch.

Luckily for us though, I am very frugal and save a lot of money throughout the year and have also been collecting presents whenever they've been on sale too. Just as inspiration though, I thought I would write a list of some of the things the boys have asked for and what is at the top of their wish lists.

Tablet
Right at the top of the list is a tablet of some sort. Now of course I am not obviously going to go out and pay a fortune for an iPad, but we did manage to snap up a pretty good Bush tablet for only £49.99 which I thought was a bargain. I have downloaded loads of games and educational apps onto it and then removed the internet connection from it to stop the boys from getting online.


Fireman Sam
Now, by this, I don't just mean a Fireman Sam doll, not at all. With thanks to the cartoon channels which seem to advertise every single toy that my sons want, Thomas has decided that he wants to whole set range. From the Ocean Rescue Playset and the Deluxe Fire Station Playset to all the trucks and boats that go with them. Coming to around £150 in total.

Vehicles
Both boys love anything with wheels, but Charlie has a passion for buses and after a bit of searching, I managed to find this cute London style bus for only £20 and I can't wait for him to see it. We have also bought a selection of cars and trucks for both of the boys to play with also, all the perfect sizes to fit in their toy garage.

Board Games/Sets
Now, obviously they are both too young for the likes of Monopoly and Pictionary but we have bought them a few sets made for younger children. Namely, Operation, Guess Who and a rather charming fishing game.


Kidizoom Smart Watch
Thomas has seen these advertised on the television and has been asking for one for ages now so this Christmas, he will be getting one. It can take photos and video and includes a couple of games to play too as well as an alarm clock, stopwatch and voice recorder with funny voice changing effects.

Goodies
I guess it wouldn't be Christmas without some goodies. We have bought a range of Minions sweets, selection boxes and boxes of chocolates, ready for the big day or treats.

I really cannot wait to see the boys faces when they open up all their presents and find out what Santa has brought them. Lets just hope they keep being good boys and stay on the Nice List!

And just to make Christmas shopping and saving extra easy, My Voucher Codes have bought out this fab widget which shows you a list of this years top toys and the cheapest place to get them. Simply scroll through it and work out where you would be best buying from to save the greatest amount of money.

Christmas Giveaway Day 11 - Daisy Roots

Daisy Roots, a leading designer and a UK manufacturer of baby, toddler and young children's shoes, slippers, booties and baby gifts. They have a huge variety of cute designs to suit every taste, from traditional to modern and quirky, they are now sold in over twenty five countries worldwide.

The shoes are made from luxurious, soft and safe chrome-free tanned leathers to provide comfort and warmth for precious, little feet. 

I personally, am a fan of Daisy Roots as I love that they make gorgeous soft-soled shoes for babies and children as I'm not one for letting babies wear hard-soled footwear. Babies feet do not turn to harder bone until they are around 2 years old and before then the bones are soft, malleable and very impressionable. I believe that they need freedom to move about without having a hard sole stopping this and so, the fact that Daisy Roots footwear is all soft-soled means that you can put your children in them without worrying about this. 

Day 11 of our Christmas Giveaways comes with thanks to Daisy Roots who are giving one person the chance to win any pair of shoes from their website.


To be in with a chance to win this fab prize in our Christmas giveaways, just fill in the Rafflecopter form below. 

Please remember to check the T&C's at the bottom of the Rafflecopter application and our full terms here. This giveaway is open to the UK only and any entries left that do not follow the required entries will be disqualified. After the one mandatory entry, others will open up to give you extra entries. You do not have to enter by all methods but these will give you extra entries into the competition if you do. 

And please, if you are commenting on the blog as 'anonymous' can you please write your name in the comment otherwise I cannot count your entry.

Ends midnight 6th December

19 November 2014

Christmas Giveaway Day 10 - Funky Giraffe Bibs

Funky Giraffe are designers and manufacturers of bandanna bibs and other baby accessories and are great believers that practical and functional doesn't have to rule out stylish and comfy which is why all of their bibs are designed to be all of the above. 

They have a huge collection so there is something to suit everyone and even do cute Christmas and occasion wear ranges so your baby can have a matching bib for any occasion. 

All the fabric that they purchase to make the gorgeous bibs is certified by OEKO –TEX to be safe and free from all hazardous dyes, and they use water based dyes for printing which is more tricky than using regular dyes but with it being something that a child may put in their mouths, water based dyes are better for your baby and for the environment too. 

Today's Christmas Giveaway has kindly been donated by Funky Giraffe, and the prize is £20 to spend on their site. This can be any absolutely anything that they sell, from the bibs to mittens or hats. With bibs coming in at £4 each, that means that you can choose any 5 from their site. Or, if you like the sets, then you could pick one of these, which gets you 10 bibs for the same price.  


To be in with a chance to win this fab prize in our Christmas giveaways, just fill in the Rafflecopter form below. 

Please remember to check the T&C's at the bottom of the Rafflecopter application and our full terms here. This giveaway is open to the UK only and any entries left that do not follow the required entries will be disqualified. After the one mandatory entry, others will open up to give you extra entries. You do not have to enter by all methods but these will give you extra entries into the competition if you do. 

And please, if you are commenting on the blog as 'anonymous' can you please write your name in the comment otherwise I cannot count your entry.

Ends midnight 5th December

18 November 2014

Christmas Giveaway Day 9 - Buyahipflask.com

I have worked with this group of companies a lot in the past on reviews and giveaways. the three different websites, Buyahipflask, Buyakilt and Buyatankard have some lovely gifts, a lot of which can be personalised with names, dates and family crests. 

For our Day 9 Christmas Giveaway, they have kindly given us a £30 voucher to be spent on the Buyahipflask website. 

The have a huge range of hip flasks to choose from, from traditional styles, to contemporary hip flasks with tweed coverings and cute women's designs, even some designer ones too. All the ones in the photos below are from their contemporary range and are all priced under £30 each so you could purchase any if you were to win our giveaway. 


To be in with a chance to win this fab prize in our Christmas giveaways, just fill in the Rafflecopter form below. 

Please remember to check the T&C's at the bottom of the Rafflecopter application and our full terms here. This giveaway is open to the UK only and any entries left that do not follow the required entries will be disqualified. After the one mandatory entry, others will open up to give you extra entries. You do not have to enter by all methods but these will give you extra entries into the competition if you do. 

And please, if you are commenting on the blog as 'anonymous' can you please write your name in the comment otherwise I cannot count your entry.

Ends midnight 5th December

17 November 2014

Christmas Giveaway Day 8 - Q Pootle 5 Christmas Special


The stars of hit CBeebies animated series Q Pootle 5 will celebrate Christmas with an exclusive, never before seen episode in their latest DVD Q Pootle 5 Christmas Special: Pootle All The Way. The 27 minute Christmas Special is released on the 17 November (today) and to celebrate we are offering you the chance to win one copy of the DVD in Day 8 of our Christmas Giveaways.

It’s Christmas time on Okidoki and all is calm as Q Pootle 5 and his friends prepare for the happiest time of the year. All is bright too, with the new festive lights festooned across the shack, ready for Groobie’s pantomime. But, when a mayday call interrupts the rehearsal, the friends suddenly find themselves in an epic adventure in which the very future of Christmas is at stake!

You can see a sneak preview of the DVD here:


To be in with a chance to win this fab prize in our Christmas giveaways, just fill in the Rafflecopter form below. 

Please remember to check the T&C's at the bottom of the Rafflecopter application and our full terms here. This giveaway is open to the UK only and any entries left that do not follow the required entries will be disqualified. After the one mandatory entry, others will open up to give you extra entries. You do not have to enter by all methods but these will give you extra entries into the competition if you do. 

And please, if you are commenting on the blog as 'anonymous' can you please write your name in the comment otherwise I cannot count your entry.

Ends midnight 4th December

16 November 2014

Christmas Giveaway Day 7 - Yoomi


Day 7 of our Christmas Giveaway comes with thanks to Yoomi, who has kindly donated a fab 8oz Feeding System for us to give away to one lucky reader.

The Yoomi 3-in-1 8oz Feeding System is an easi-latch bottle, a travel warmer and a bedside warmer in one compact and stylish package. At the simple touch of a button, the bottle warms your baby's milk to the natural temperature of breastmilk in just 60 seconds saving all the faffing around trying to heat and cool bottles quickly.

It has a unique 6 anti-colic vent system for less colic and has a naturally shaped teat for easy latch-on and feeding. What's more, you can charge the bottle in just 2 minutes with the fab 2 minute charging pod.


To be in with a chance to win this fab prize in our Christmas giveaways, just fill in the Rafflecopter form below. 

Please remember to check the T&C's at the bottom of the Rafflecopter application and our full terms here. This giveaway is open to the UK only and any entries left that do not follow the required entries will be disqualified. After the one mandatory entry, others will open up to give you extra entries. You do not have to enter by all methods but these will give you extra entries into the competition if you do. 

And please, if you are commenting on the blog as 'anonymous' can you please write your name in the comment otherwise I cannot count your entry.

Ends midnight 4th December

15 November 2014

Get Set For Winter With Asda

I'm sure every year we point out how no doubt it wont snow at Christmas and that we don't seem to get weather like it used to be. The get white winters, building snowmen and playing in the snow. And truth be told, last year, we had no snow at all. 

But that doesn't mean that you shouldn't be prepared. 

Now is a great time to go out and stock up on essentials that you may need if we have a bad winter and, even if we don't get snow, there are some things (especially for cars) that need to be bought either way, to stop the cold getting in. 

Don't let the cold catch you out this winter, be prepared. From shovels and coal to scrapers and de-icer, Asda has it covered to prepare you for the colder months and ensure you're safe on the roads and warm in the house.


We've got a big snow shovel in the shed that was £8 in Asda, ready for if needed. I has a solid handle and a metal piece at the end of the shovel to help with removing snow and ice from the path. We have stocked up on salt too, 3kg for only £3, as you never know when the snow or ice may hit. I don't really want to go slipping over when heavily pregnant. 

Having an extra bag of coal or logs tucked away, if you have an open fire, is essential as in winter you may use more than expected, especially if this cold weather keeps up. And, don't forget if you have a car to make sure that you have de-icer to hand and an ice scraper too, as you cannot be driving with snow or ice on the windscreen. 

I think, especially if you have children, or know elderly people who would struggle on their own, then it's best to go out and buy things now, just in case so make sure that you stock up before the weather gets any colder. 

All these items and much more are available instore and on the Asda website now.

Christmas Giveaway Day 6 - Daniel Footwear

Daniel Footwear is an independent retailer of footwear with over 30 stores in the UK and an online store too. Within the boutique stores and online, you will find an extensive collection of designer shoes, bags and accessories which are of high quality, on trend and at competitive prices.

Not only do they offer a fantastic range of women's shoes, many I have reviewed in the past, but they also sell a cute range of children's footwear too. And that's the prize for Day 6's Christmas Giveaway.

One lucky reader will win a £50 voucher to spend on children's footwear from Daniel Footwear who have kindly donated this prize to us. 

UGG Australia Kids Espresso Jorie 2 Ankle Boot and the UGG Australia Navy Suede Toddlers Orin Lace Up Boot are both priced under £50 each and so your child could look cosy and warm with this stylish brand.


To be in with a chance to win this fab prize in our Christmas giveaways, just fill in the Rafflecopter form below. 

Please remember to check the T&C's at the bottom of the Rafflecopter application and our full terms here. This giveaway is open to the UK only and any entries left that do not follow the required entries will be disqualified. After the one mandatory entry, others will open up to give you extra entries. You do not have to enter by all methods but these will give you extra entries into the competition if you do. 

And please, if you are commenting on the blog as 'anonymous' can you please write your name in the comment otherwise I cannot count your entry.

Ends midnight 3rd December

14 November 2014

29 Week Pregnancy Update

My baby now weighs around 2 1/2 pounds and is just over 15 inches long from his head to heel. At this stage his head is growing bigger to make room for his developing brain and to meet his increasing nutritional demands, mums-to-be need plenty of protein, vitamins C, folic acid, and iron because the baby will start using extra supplies to help him mature. This, in turn, can make mum feel a little run down. 

Being pregnant is sometimes not all it is cracked up to be. When people talk about it, you assume that it's sickness and heartburn, yes, but otherwise 9 months of happiness. Well it's not. Today I have woken up sad. I feel down and would say that I don't know why but I do, the hormones from my pregnancy have just affected my mood making me feel like this.

I've still managed to get things done with the boys, we've baked, painted and made some Christmas cards, but I just have this horrible feeling. Kind of like loneliness but I don't know, weird. The joys of pregnancy eh?!

After feeling scared about having a kidney infection last week, tests came back negative and it turns out that I've just pulled a muscle in my back. Not as serious obviously but just means that I cannot take anything to help the pain (Paracetamol does nothing unfortunately)

Heartburn is coming on strong now and I have found myself drinking Gaviscon like pop at the moment to keep it at bay. It seems that the fizzy drinks that are keeping me from throwing up, are the exact same thing that are causing me bad heartburn. That's just my luck!

For bump, this week he seems to have come on a lot. Fidgeting loads now and constantly kicking me, he seems to love the warm water when I get a bath and the boys love watching my tummy make weird shapes as I lay there watching. It's lovely to feel him moving and to see my bump growing bigger all the time!

Christmas Giveaway Day 5 - My 1st Years

I worked with My 1st Years only a few weeks ago, reviewing a gorgeous Personalised Star Jacquard Knit Blanket which you can read about here. Such a cute blanket which one of my lucky readers will also have the chance to win as that is the prize of day 5 of our Christmas Giveaways. 

My 1st Years do a whole range of personalised baby blankets from blue to pink and naturally cream, like the one we received. They are perfect for a gift for someone who is expecting or as a memento of your little one growing up as they can be personalised. 

This luxurious star jacquard knit blanket is a perfect way to keep your baby warm and snuggly. It has a subtle star pattern that is super cute and is large in size so will keep your baby nice and warm. 


To be in with a chance to win this fab prize in our Christmas giveaways, just fill in the Rafflecopter form below. 

Please remember to check the T&C's at the bottom of the Rafflecopter application and our full terms here. This giveaway is open to the UK only and any entries left that do not follow the required entries will be disqualified. After the one mandatory entry, others will open up to give you extra entries. You do not have to enter by all methods but these will give you extra entries into the competition if you do. 

And please, if you are commenting on the blog as 'anonymous' can you please write your name in the comment otherwise I cannot count your entry.

Ends midnight 3rd December

13 November 2014

Would You Move From Your Home-town?

Many times, I've had the discussion with my husband, you know, if we were lucky enough to ever come in to a lot of money or, win the Lottery (fingers crossed), would we stay put where we know people or would we move away to somewhere different. 

And, to be honest, it's such a hard thing to decide. 

I love living in Yorkshire, it is my home, the place I was born and grew up. I love the accent, the people, the fact that all my family live close by, but then, on the flip side, there are also many other places I would love to live too. 

Somewhere with a lot of land for the kids to run around to their hearts content, a place to plant herbs and vegetables so that the boys could grow up learning about sustainable foods and how to maintain them. I would just love somewhere that has a lovely homely and community feeling, somewhere that would be great for the kids to grow up. 

Image courtesy of ddpavumba at FreeDigitalPhotos.net 
If I had to pick, I would love to live in Scotland. I love the scenery, the gorgeous farmhouses that you see dotted around and for the fact that my granddad came from there and always mentioned how lovely it is up there. 

If you're like me then you will probably, every now and then, have a quick Google to find locations and places and dream about living there. I have even searched for properties for sale in Aberdeenshire as that is my top location, if I ever had the money. 

But then I daydream even more and wonder, would I buy a house and make it our home, or would I buy a patch of land and create our perfect place? Somewhere with a huge kitchen, a playroom for the kids, extra bedrooms for family coming over and a huge garden filled with things for the boys to play with.

I know, I know, things like this never happen to normal people like us, but a girl can dream, and it does get me wondering, would I move from my home-town!

Christmas Giveaway Day 4 - Disney Princess My Magical Secret Book

Day 4 of our Christmas Giveaways is something perfect for those little princesses in your life with this cute Disney Princess My Magical Secret Book from the lovely people at KD UK who have donated this prize. 

Simply unlock the Magical Secret Book with the secret key to find a beautiful book full of magical activities to learn about counting, writing and colouring. The magical pen that is included, gradually disappears so children can write secret notes and play the activities again and again so it's great as a learning aid. 

Children can also make their own bracelet using the ribbon and pretty charms to give it and extra feature. It's a cute toy that will keep any young child occupied, playing, learning, writing and creating a lovely bracelet too. 


To be in with a chance to win this fab prize in our Christmas giveaways, just fill in the Rafflecopter form below. 

Please remember to check the T&C's at the bottom of the Rafflecopter application and our full terms here. This giveaway is open to the UK only and any entries left that do not follow the required entries will be disqualified. After the one mandatory entry, others will open up to give you extra entries. You do not have to enter by all methods but these will give you extra entries into the competition if you do. 

And please, if you are commenting on the blog as 'anonymous' can you please write your name in the comment otherwise I cannot count your entry.

Ends midnight 2nd December

12 November 2014

Christmas Giveaway Day 3 - Christmas Spirit Bouquet

We have worked with Bunches many times in reviewing their gorgeous mail-order bouquets of flowers and I love how well packaged and how stunning they are. Flowers are an amazing gift to receive and this Christmas, a lot of lucky people will be having an extra special present with the help of Bunches.  

The Christmas Spirit Bouquet is a wonderful Christmas bouquet featuring red Roses and Carnations complemented by white Chrysanthemums and white Wax Flower. The snow effect Thistle, sugar berry picks and a keepsake festive red star complete the effect to make the perfect gift to send this Christmas.

And Bunches have donated one of these gorgeous bouquets to our Christmas giveaways for one lucky reader to win. 


To be in with a chance to win this fab prize in our Christmas giveaways, just fill in the Rafflecopter form below. 

Please remember to check the T&C's at the bottom of the Rafflecopter application and our full terms here. This giveaway is open to the UK only and any entries left that do not follow the required entries will be disqualified. After the one mandatory entry, others will open up to give you extra entries. You do not have to enter by all methods but these will give you extra entries into the competition if you do. 

And please, if you are commenting on the blog as 'anonymous' can you please write your name in the comment otherwise I cannot count your entry.

Ends midnight 2nd December

11 November 2014

Christmas Giveaway Day 2 - Tippitoes Baroo Nursing Pillow

Babythingz have a whole host of products that are needed for pregnancy and beyond. From prams, sleep essentials and nursing pillows. Nursing pillows are an essential purchase for both pre and post pregnancy as I have been finding out as mine as really been helping me to get comfortable during the night so I can sleep. 

The pillows provide support during pregnancy to help ease the pressure points on your legs, or around your back whilst sitting or resting, during feeding to provide support and comfort to both parent and baby during breast or bottle feeding and during your babies resting time as you can let baby lie back gently and rest comfortably.

The Baroo Nursing Pillow in Beige Stars is so cute and versatile. The internal padding is made from fibres that do not lose their shape or compactness over time and as it has many uses, is great value for money. 

We are lucky to announce that Babythingz have donated one of these gorgeous nursing pillows for our second Christmas giveaway. 


To be in with a chance to win this fab prize in our Christmas giveaways, just fill in the Rafflecopter form below. 

Please remember to check the T&C's at the bottom of the Rafflecopter application and our full terms here. This giveaway is open to the UK only and any entries left that do not follow the required entries will be disqualified. After the one mandatory entry, others will open up to give you extra entries. You do not have to enter by all methods but these will give you extra entries into the competition if you do. 

And please, if you are commenting on the blog as 'anonymous' can you please write your name in the comment otherwise I cannot count your entry.

Ends midnight 1st December

10 November 2014

Christmas Giveaway Day 1 - Peppa Pig My First Notebook


Ever get the feeling that children just want your things. Charlie is always trying to play with my phone or my laptop, but now he can have his own with thanks to KD UK and their Peppa Pig My First Notebook.

The Peppa notebook is as light and small as the real thing and features a full alphanumeric keyboard, pretend screen with ten lights and a cursor pad to move the light from folder to folder to select one. Fun and interactive activities offered by this notebook invite your child to navigate the keyboard and illustrations relating to their favourite nursery rhymes.

It has so much content and your child will learn about letters, numbers, quantities, colours and can listen to eight nursery rhymes.

Being a KD Mumbassador, I have been given the great opportunity for one of my lucky readers to win their very own Peppa Pig My First Notebook in our very first Christmas giveaway of 2014 thanks to KD UK for donating this fab prize!


To be in with a chance to win this fab prize in our Christmas giveaways, just fill in the Rafflecopter form below. 

Please remember to check the T&C's at the bottom of the Rafflecopter application and our full terms here. This giveaway is open to the UK only and any entries left that do not follow the required entries will be disqualified. After the one mandatory entry, others will open up to give you extra entries. You do not have to enter by all methods but these will give you extra entries into the competition if you do. 

And please, if you are commenting on the blog as 'anonymous' can you please write your name in the comment otherwise I cannot count your entry.

Ends midnight 1st December

9 November 2014

28 Week Pregnancy Update

At 28 week, the baby is doing lots of blinking because they’re now responding to light and dark. Not only that but they are going through a lot of physical developments. Bone marrow is now a construction site for blood cells, while their adrenal glands are actually producing androgen and estrogen. The latter means that mums (my) body is stimulated into milk production. Can everybody say mooooo! 

This week I finally got to see the midwife again. If, like me, you have had previous pregnancies, then the midwife doesn't need to see you as much. It's more a case of seeing her for blood tests and only when necessary. I guess, after you have been through it the first time, you know what to expect and so they don't really need to see you. That is unless you are high risk of course. 

So anyway, my midwife appointment was fairly routine. There was a student midwife in and, to be really honest, they don't half annoy me as they always seem very judgemental. Well, not when I'm around because I make my opinions and decisions known. 

I explained how I plan on breastfeeding to start with (as I did with my previous pregnancies) and will then mix before settling on formula. This is when the student midwife decided she knew more about me than I did and went off on one about how I should only breastfeed. Let's just say that I may have told her a few things that she needs to learn before speaking to someone who has been pregnant before and knows what she wants. 

Putting pressure on mums to do what is expected only causes more stress for them. If a mum has made her decision then who are we to judge?


Anyway on from that. My relationship with the student midwife then went from bad to worse as she did my blood test. Not only did she mess up the first test by taking the tube out too quickly, she then went on to try in my other arm, leaving me bruised. I don't seem to have any luck when it comes to blood tests!

On a positive note, I got to hear my little boys heartbeat and, whilst the midwife was checking it, my baby decided to have a little dance. My tummy was bouncing around like nothing I've seen before. It was so cute!

They found a trace of protein in my urine which can be nothing but also can get quite serious so this will need to be monitored next time I see her and she gave me advice about symptoms of water and kidney infections which did scare me a little and then had me on edge all weekend thinking that I was going to have a serious condition.

Overall, it has been a mixed week. The muscle in my back is playing up (I always seen to pull it when the cold weather sets in) which isn't great, especially when pregnant but on the plus side, I heard bump and he sounds like he's having fun in there. 

7 November 2014

Ultimate English Confectionery


When someone emails me and asks if I would like to try a Yorkshire brand of confectionery, I have mixed emotions, one of, oh yeah, it will be great to support a Yorkshire brand and the other part of me thinks, mmmm sweets, give me them here haha, so obviously, I said yes!

Ultimate English are a traditional business producing confectionery from Harrogate in North Yorkshire, not too far from us. They have spent 150 years crafting and refining their confectionery to make it the best it can be, all done by hand.  

From fudge to honeycomb, there is a lot of choice to pick from and I couldn't wait to see what we received, keeping my fingers crossed for honeycomb and cashew crunch as they sounded like something that I would love and I wasn't disappointed when our parcel turned up.


Incredibly Fantastic Salted Cashew Crunch
Packed with the finest quality cashews, The toffee is super moreish and the salted taste is the ultimate indulgence and just gives it that kick of extra flavour. 

Simply Marvellous All Butter Fudge
This soft and creamy luxury butter fudge is made with an extravagant 16% butter recipe to deliver a rich, smooth texture and has a caramel kick to it. 

Astoundingly Brilliant Honeycomb Nuggets 
Made with a luxurious coating of Belgian chocolate, this heavenly honeycomb is whisked for extra crunchy lightness, then broken by hand. A yummy, crunchy, moreish treat. 

Astonishingly Delicious Salt Water Chocolate Truffle Fudge
By combining the all butter fudge with the highest quality Belgian chocolate, Ultimate English have created a stunning fudge that is so lovely and the salt water flavour just lifts it to even higher pleasures. 

For me, my favourite was the Salted Cashew Crunch as it was just bursting with flavour. I would have liked to have tired the Honeycomb Nugget but I was too late as my husband and sons enjoyed eating the whole pack between them. 


I love fudge and like how they have taken a traditionally English sweet and given it a quirky twist to create an awesome new flavour. A flavour that has gone magnificently well, topping off our home-made flapjack.

We simply made our flapjack and then 15 minutes before it was due to come out of the oven, cut up some pieces of the Salt Water Chocolate Truffle Fudge and place them around the top. When the flapjack was finished cooking, the fudge had melted into it giving a scrumptious extra flavour which was simply stunning to eat.  

Overall, I was so pleased with the confectionery and the yummy flavours that they included. The range is only available in local farm shops and delis across Yorkshire at the moment and has recently been awarded a gold star by the folks at Great Taste.

For more information, visit the Ultimate English website

6 November 2014

Half Price Toy Sale At Asda


I cannot believe that it is now less than 7 weeks to Christmas. This year seems to have zoomed past and I am glad that I started early and got everything sorted before the big day and not ended up being skint over the last few months. 

Have you sorted all of your children's Christmas presents yet? Don't worry if not because Asda have launched a huge half price toy sale so you can get some huge discounts on those big gifts that, no doubt your child has been asking for,

My boys love fire engines and anything to do with them so this fantastic Playmobil Fire Engine would be ideal for them and being in the sale, is now only £20, half its original price and a great saving. 

For young girls, this cute Baby Annabell Deluxe Bath Set was usually £60 but is now £30 in the sale. What an amazing saving! It comes complete with a baby Annabell doll, a soft cuddly bathrobe/blanket, 2-piece nightgown ,slippers, sponge, talk bottle, travel bottle, a dummy and a lovely travel bag so is the full set of everything you need for pretend play.  


Got older children? Then how about this Air Hogs Megabomb set or Monster High Inner Monster Deluxe Pack which are both now only £20. 

There are many, many more items in stock in this fabulous sale and I will be popping down asap to grab some bargains for my boys and the rest of my family. Make sure you get to Asda quick though as toys at this price wont stay in stock for long!

All toys are available in store and on the Asda website for a limited time.

4 November 2014

October Degustabox

A few days ago  I was lucky enough to receive my second Degustabox to review (you can read what was in my September Degustabox here) and couldn't wait to get it open. In fact, the kids new straight away by the box that it was full of goodies and so spent no time at all helping me open it. 

Degustabox is a box full of goodies that is delivered to you door monthly and can be yours for just £12.99 a month which includes delivery.  

So without further ado, lets get looking through this months fantastic box and all of its contents.


Kent's Kitchen Bengal Meal Kit RRP £2.50
I have never tried a meal kit before and usually make curries myself but this one is quite intriguing. The Kent's Kitchen meal kit contains three little pots, one with oil for cooking, one with spices and lastly the sauce. They are made using all natural ingredients and come in fourteen different meal kits.
I have never tried a Bengal curry before and so am looking forward to trying this and seeing how it tastes. 

Blue Dragon Sweet Chilli Sauce RRP £1.39 
Two bottles of this classic dipping sauce are included in the Degustabox this month and are extremely flavoursome. The Sweet Chilli Sauce is something that can work for many meals to give an extra punch of flavour and is something that I always have in the store cupboard.

Enhance Drinks RRP £2.49
These new highly concentrated drinks seem to be everywhere at the moment and it was nice to try out a new brand. They transform water into a light fruity drink with only one squeeze into water. The drinks are made with real fruit juice , natural flavours, and have no added sugar so are ideal for little people who don't need too much sugar. 
Enhance Drinks are available in four flavours; Orange & Passion Fruit, Lemon & Lime, Strawberry & Kiwi, and Apple & Blackcurrant and I thin they are perfect for breaks away or picnics as they are in tiny bottles so are easy to carry but last for ages. 


Solo Toasted Marshmallow Creme RRP £1.99
I've never tried a marshmallow spread before but am now glad that I got the chance as this is just gorgeously yummy. We got the toasted marshmallow creme which had a nice toasted flavour to it and I can imagine that this would work well on any baking items as well as straight from the tub. 

Dr Oetker Fine Dark Cocoa Powder RRP £1.89 and Dr Oetker Premium 90% Extra Dark Chocolate RRP £2.49
The Dr Oetker Fine Dark Cocoa Powder is a multi-pack of three pre-measured 25g sachets of finest quality cocoa powder. These individual sachets are great for baking and are convenient as they are the perfect amount for baking with.
  
The Dr Oetker Premium 90% Extra Dark Chocolate is made from single origin Ghanaian cocoa beans and is described as having an intense and indulgent chocolate taste, great for home baking. It has a recipe for ganache on the back of it and so I think I'll be trying this out next time I bake a cake.

We baked some buns using the The Dr Oetker Fine Dark Cocoa Powder and the Solo Toasted Marshmallow Creme and they went down really well. A gorgeous chocolatey flavour with a sweet, rich cream inside. 

Get Buzzing bar RRP £1.30
I am a big lover of flapjacks and love finding new products to the market and new brands to try out so loved receiving this is my Degustabox. The range of 100% natural flapjacks has been created to provide both fast and slow releasing energy to keep you going throughout the day. It isn't a boring snack though and is packed full of flavour. 


Jelly Belly Jelly Beans RRP £2.50
I must admit that we all loved the Jelly Belly sour jelly beans. They definitely do live up to the sour name and are very strong indeed but my kids loved them. 

Bear Paws Fruit Snack RRP £0.55
My kids love the bear range so were excited to try out this product. They're a pure fruit snack with no added sugars or concentrates and are gently baked to give kids a yummy treat with no nasties. The blackcurrant and apple flavour was nice but quite strong for me, although the boys loved them and I was happy knowing that they were getting a healthy snack.

Special K Cracker Crisps RRP £1.89
I have tried a lot of the Special K range but never the cracker crisps before. like that they have a new sharing bags and the Barbecue flavour is very tasty indeed, although, I think if you are on a diet, having a sharing bag might not work as, like me, you may find yourself eating the whole bag! 
They are also available in Sea Salt & Balsamic Vinegar, Sour Cream & Onion and Sweet Chilli flavours which I would love to try also. 

Brioche Pasquier Pain Au Lait with Choc Chips RRP £1.60 and Brioche Pasquier Sliced Brioche Loaf RRP £1.69 
There are two fresh products from Brioche Pasquier inside this months box. First up is a pack of Brioche Pasquier Pain Au Lait with Choc Chips. These are yummy and sweet and worked very well covered in custard and baked in the oven for an hour.
The second Brioche Pasquier product was a large Sliced Brioche Loaf. I loved this because you could make a yummy sweet sandwich for the kids to snack on but my husband also enjoyed have ham and lettuce inside it as it gave it a unique flavour which he said was delicious.  


Bear Alphabites
This was a little extra in the box this month. As I said previously, my kids love the Bear brand and love these cereal and so both fought over who could have them. In the end, they both won and ate them straight from the packet as a snack!

Degustabox Fridge: This month also sees a Dugustabox Fridge item added into the mix. As fresh/fridge produce cannot be sent through the post this came in the form of a voucher for a four pack of Benecol Fat Free Yogurts or new Greek Style Yogurts which can be used in most supermarkets to pick up a free pack.  

For me, one thing I love is that it is a surprise every month. I think it would also be a great gift for someone who you struggle to buy for as you can get it sent direct to them and let them enjoy a plethora of new products to try out!

Overall, I was so happy with this month's Degustabox and it's one of my favourite boxes as I am a lover of baking and this gave a lot of options to do so. You can order your Degustabox and find out more information on the Degustabox website